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#1380842 - 02/23/10 01:18 AM Excessive ledger lines?
buck2202 Offline
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Registered: 03/06/09
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Loc: Cleveland, OH

(Click takes you to imageshack, not imslp)

I'm working on Grieg's Lyric Piece Op.57 No.6 (Heimweh/Home-Sickness) at the moment, and these are measures 36-41 (no numbers in my edition, so I counted it quickly and may be wrong). I'm working from a Dover edition, but it looks just like the image above (Edition Peters, from IMSLP). I don't have any questions about playing it, and apologies if I'm bringing up something that's been beaten to death before...I did a quick search and found general questions about ledger lines, but not exactly my question.

I'm wondering, is there anyone that prefers this amount of ledger-lines over using 8va? And what motivates an engraver/typesetter(/composer) to do it one way or the other? I realize that this is fairly simple to read, but it just seems awkward to me.

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#1380847 - 02/23/10 01:27 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: buck2202]
Mark_C Offline
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Seems like you don't like it -- and I'm with you.
BTW I don't think those kinds of notes are 'fairly simple to read.' I have a helluva time with them. I'm a good sight reader and score reader, but not with notes like that. They never stop being a pain in the neck.

Literally. smile

Because I lean forward, stare at the notes, lean back, lean forward again, then finally break down and count the dam lines -- like, "OK, let's see, what would that be......A, C, E, G, B!! Cool, it's a B! No wait a minute, it's B-sharp. Or did I miss a line or two, maybe it's a D-sharp or F-sharp.....

I can't stand those.
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#1380849 - 02/23/10 01:31 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]
buck2202 Offline
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Posts: 216
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Oh, no, I agree with you completely...it drives me crazy. When I say "not that difficult to read," I don't mean that I could just pick up in the middle of it and tell you what the notes were after that many ledger lines. But, the intervals are small enough that I can keep decent track of where I am from an "easy" starting point like the E# in the second line.

But yeah..to just take a single note out of it takes me a while. Adjust the lamp, clean my glasses, go get some coffee, etc... smile

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#1380850 - 02/23/10 01:38 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: buck2202]
Nikolas Offline
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There are a few issues with this particular phrase that makes the use of the 8va sign a little problematic.

1. Both hands, after a little while, end up in the upper staff. Which makes things complicated (the 8va sign applies for both hands?)
2. There is polyphonic texture on the right hand, which again would weild the question (the 8va applies for both voices?_
3. Finally the left hand is rather close, and bringing the right hand an octave down, would probably create a mess in the mind of the performer, with notes seemingly cross refferencing all the time.

I agree they are tiresome a little, but it does stand that it might be more trouble than it's worth to put an 8va sign.
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#1380851 - 02/23/10 01:39 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: buck2202]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: buck2202
....Adjust the lamp, clean my glasses, go get some coffee, etc... smile

......sometimes magnifying glass......
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#1380853 - 02/23/10 01:42 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Nikolas]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: Nikolas
There are a few issues with this particular phrase that makes the use of the 8va sign a little problematic.

1. Both hands, after a little while, end up in the upper staff. Which makes things complicated (the 8va sign applies for both hands?)

Good point but I don't think it would be an issue. If the upper staff had an 8va sign, it would clearly apply just to that staff.

Quote:
....3. Finally the left hand is rather close, and bringing the right hand an octave down, would probably create a mess in the mind of the performer, with notes seemingly cross referencing all the time.

Yes (good get!) -- and I think that could very well be why it's notated the way it is.
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#1380856 - 02/23/10 01:55 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]
Samuel1993 Offline
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Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 351
Loc: United Kingdom
Sometimes I prefer 8va - but to be honest, it's sometines used pointlessly. If there's excessive ledger lines, it can be a pain. But to be honest, I'm so used to them now I can just read them like there on the stave.
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#1380859 - 02/23/10 02:02 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Nikolas]
buck2202 Offline
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Oh, that's interesting. Actually this whole "Molto piu vivo" section has both hands in the treble clef, and I can see how it might be a little unusual to have the left hand "appear" to be playing higher notes with 8va.

However, this is from Op.62 No.1 (Sylph) that I played a little while ago. It's in the same edition, so presumably was edited by the same person, or (hopefully) at least with a similar style. Why no ledger lines here, then? Would it have crossed some line between 'awkward' and 'inappropriate'?

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#1380866 - 02/23/10 02:28 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: buck2202]
Nikolas Offline
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Marc: The last 2 bars in the 1st example (1st post) has both hands playing from the same staff, the upper one. Where do you apply the 8va? To all voices? To the right hand? To all hands? etc...

buck: I can't be sure (didn't edit the score). What I can see as differences between the two examples you posted are:
1. The first is flowing, while the second is an exact repetition one octave lower (the second time). Might be easier for the eye.
2. Cross staffing on the second example wouldn't exactly work, because the beams could get in the way (despite one would turn the upper staff lines upwards, there would still be a continuous beam, which could complicate things).
3. Since there is no cross staffing, one of the things I mentioned above (1 I think) dissappears (no problem with voicing, which voice the 8va applies, etc...

All this is just guessing on the age of Finale, right? I've never ever used typography or engraving, so I'm quite uncertain if there are other practical issues... :-/
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#1380881 - 02/23/10 03:12 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Nikolas]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Marc: The last 2 bars in the 1st example (1st post) has both hands playing from the same staff, the upper one. Where do you apply the 8va? To all voices? To the right hand? To all hands? etc......

That would be very easily taken care of: all the notes would just be written an octave lower (and the 8va sign would apply to all of them).
No problem.
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#1380887 - 02/23/10 03:31 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]
landorrano Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2458
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

That would be very easily taken care of: all the notes would just be written an octave lower (and the 8va sign would apply to all of them).
No problem.


Sancte bovinus, what a dunce the editor was! (Maybe Grieg too.)

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#1380903 - 02/23/10 04:32 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: landorrano]
SamOnThePiano Offline
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Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 239
Loc: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Schubert did the Same with his impromptu no 2 en E flat major. There are more than 6 ledger lines! Or seven. But I think that the piece wouldn't look simple with an 8va and could cause confusion. Is that the case?
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#1380905 - 02/23/10 04:49 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: SamOnThePiano]
custard apple Offline
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Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2300
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I'm with you. They are driving me crazy in Clair de Lune. When I compose pop-jazz, I use 8va.

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#1380918 - 02/23/10 06:14 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5261
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Marc: The last 2 bars in the 1st example (1st post) has both hands playing from the same staff, the upper one. Where do you apply the 8va? To all voices? To the right hand? To all hands? etc......

That would be very easily taken care of: all the notes would just be written an octave lower (and the 8va sign would apply to all of them).
No problem.
Nope,

It would still weild the very same question: "The 8va applies to all voices, all layers, all hands, or only the upper one"?

Honestly, with cross staff, the 8va sign is actually quite risky to use.

(At least my take from the end of the editor/composer/publisher)
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#1380947 - 02/23/10 07:49 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: buck2202]
Damon Offline
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Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6142
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: buck2202


I'm wondering, is there anyone that prefers this amount of ledger-lines over using 8va? And what motivates an engraver/typesetter(/composer) to do it one way or the other? I realize that this is fairly simple to read, but it just seems awkward to me.


I wouldn't say I prefer this (slaps head and says "I could have had an 8va"), but it doesn't bother me or slow me down anymore.
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#1380978 - 02/23/10 09:09 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Damon]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
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Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
Nikolas,

I don't see your point. 8va applies to the notes on one staff. It does not apply by hand or by voice. It would be perfectly clear if used in this context.
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#1381003 - 02/23/10 09:58 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Damon]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17777
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Damon

I wouldn't say I prefer this (slaps head and says "I could have had an 8va"), but it doesn't bother me or slow me down anymore.


I don't have an opinion on the ledger line issue, but I did want to say that I think this is one of the funniest one-liners I've seen on PW in ages. thumb
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#1381005 - 02/23/10 10:02 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Damon]
gooddog Offline
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Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4794
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: Damon
slaps head and says "I could have had an 8va"
laugh
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#1381046 - 02/23/10 11:16 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: gooddog]
dannylux Offline
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Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1819
Loc: Connecticut
Sometimes you need ledger lines and 8va.

Pierre Sancan's delightful Boite à Musique:





Mel
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#1381054 - 02/23/10 11:27 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: dannylux]
Andromaque Offline
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Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
My trusty mnemonic (ACE) comes in handy and my brains have gotten used to it. A C E for the notes on the lines starting with the first ledger line. You can read them really quick once you program the mnemonic in. I admit,sheepishly, that while reading both staffs comes automatically to me now, I STILL need said mnemonic to sight read the silly ledger lines..

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#1381058 - 02/23/10 11:34 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Andromaque]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
For me it just depends on the length of the passage. Extended passages in 8va are always nice, but for short passages, I find the 8va line and mental gymnastics to be not worth the bother.
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#1381075 - 02/23/10 11:53 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Kreisler]
Batuhan Offline
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I hate 8va i can read all ledger lines in the treble and bass clef very fast i work on them too much write it down and make practice improve your sight reading
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#1381086 - 02/23/10 12:06 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Nikolas]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Marc: The last 2 bars in the 1st example (1st post) has both hands playing from the same staff, the upper one. Where do you apply the 8va? To all voices? To the right hand? To all hands? etc......

That would be very easily taken care of: all the notes would just be written an octave lower (and the 8va sign would apply to all of them).
No problem.
Nope,
It would still weild the very same question: "The 8va applies to all voices, all layers, all hands, or only the upper one"?.....

Nikolas -- I gotta believe you're just not picturing it. Remember, for this point we're talking only about the last 2 measures of the example in the 1st post.
There would be no ambiguity, because the voices are in basically the same range and quite close together. I'm sure that if it were written and you were looking at it, you'd have no doubt that it would apply to both voices -- nor would anyone else.
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#1381092 - 02/23/10 12:11 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Monica K.]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Originally Posted By: Damon

I wouldn't say I prefer this (slaps head and says "I could have had an 8va"), but it doesn't bother me or slow me down anymore.

I don't have an opinion on the ledger line issue, but I did want to say that I think this is one of the funniest one-liners I've seen on PW in ages. thumb

YES!! Thanks for highlighting it -- I hadn't gotten Damon's brilliant 'reverse-alpha-numeric pun.' smile
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#1381094 - 02/23/10 12:12 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Monica K.]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: Monica K.
I don't have an opinion on the ledger line issue.....

Actually my main opinion on the issue is I prefer to see it spelled leger. ha
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#1381096 - 02/23/10 12:13 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: dannylux]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: dannylux
Sometimes you need ledger lines and 8va....

LOL!
Great example!

But actually you don't.
There's also the "16va" sign.....although in this example I have to admit that the appearance on the page contributes to the feeling of the passage, and writing the notes an octave lower would impair that.

And I'd guess that's a big part of it in the Grieg example too.
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#1381106 - 02/23/10 12:19 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]
Kreisler Offline



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Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
8va typically applies to the staff below it appears. When both staves are to be played 8va, editors will do one of two things - either place the 8va above each staff (which I've only seen once or twice, it's a horrible solution because it clutters the score), or write "Both hands 8va" (you often see this in elementary level method books.)

The reason it wasn't used in the Grieg example is:

1) If you're sight-reading the score, then it's very easy to miss the indication "8va", so having it there wouldn't be all that helpful.

2) If you're learning the piece, then it would only take a few seconds to write "E# Fx A C#" above the notes in the second line, and A#m, D#M over the triads.
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#1381113 - 02/23/10 12:32 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]
Harmonies Offline
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Registered: 01/13/10
Posts: 30
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: dannylux
Sometimes you need ledger lines and 8va....

There's also the "16va" sign....


Wouldn't it be a "15va" sign?
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#1381114 - 02/23/10 12:34 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Harmonies]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Originally Posted By: Harmonies
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: dannylux
Sometimes you need ledger lines and 8va....

There's also the "16va" sign....

Wouldn't it be a "15va" sign?

LOLOLOL!!!!

Come to think of it, it sort of should be, but it isn't. smile
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#1381119 - 02/23/10 12:40 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]
Happy Birthday ted.stanion Offline
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Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 278
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Harmonies
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: dannylux
Sometimes you need ledger lines and 8va....

There's also the "16va" sign....

Wouldn't it be a "15va" sign?

LOLOLOL!!!!

Come to think of it, it sort of should be, but it isn't. smile


Actually, it should be and is. I've never seen 16va in a score, but I have seen 15va.

Ted

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